Hashimoto Kangoro (橋本勘五郎)

Kangoro HASHIMOTO (1822-1897) was a mason from Higo Domain who was active from the end of the Edo period until the Meiji period.
His original name was 'Johach.'
He took part in building Tsujun-kyo Bridge in Higo Province and engaged in works such as Mansei-bashi Bridge in Tokyo. He was a member of Taneyama Ishiku (a group of masons in the present-day Kumamoto Prefecture).

He was born in 1822 as the third son of Kahachi in Taneyama-mura, Higo Domain (present-day Toyo-machi, Yatsushiro City, Kumamoto Prefecture). The founder of Taneyama Ishiku, Rinshichi FUJIWARA, was his grandfather. Johachi, who studied the art of a mason, built arch-shaped stone bridges along with his brothers, Usuke and Uichi, from his youth onward. In 1847, at the age of twenty-six, he helped Usuke complete Reidai-kyo Bridge (present-day Misato-machi [Kumamoto Prefecture]) in six months, and five years later he built Tsujun-kyo Bridge (present-day Yamato-cho), this time under the leadership of Uichi. After Tsujun-kyo Bridge was built, he was permitted by Higo Domain to adopt a surname and wear a pair of swords, and his name was changed to Kangoro HASHIMOTO.

In 1871, he was invited by the Meiji Government to work in Civil Engineering Bureau in Kunaisho (Ministry of the Sovereign's Household), and built Mansei-bashi Bridge in 1873, Asakusa-bashi Bridge and Horai-bashi Bridge the following year, and in1875, Edo-bashi Bridge and Kyo-bashi Bridge. He is said to have built Niju-bashi Bridge (stone bridge of the Main Gate) of the Imperial Palace as well; however, since the bridge is said to have been completed in 1887, it is not clear whether the bridge was actually a work by Kangoro. In May of 1873, he is said to have repaired a stone bridge in the Ote-mon Gate; however, it is not clear specifically which bridge was repaired. On the New Year's Day in 1874, he attended Ceremony of the Utakai Hajime (Imperial New Year's Poetry Reading), and in the fall of the same year, he returned home.

After he returned to Kumamoto, he left works such as Meihachi-bashi Bridge and Meiju-bashi Bridge in Kumamoto City, and Ryumon-bashi Bridge in Kikuchi City. In 1879, he died at the age of seventy-six in Taneyama-mura. His birthplace remains near Sekisho-kan Museum.

Representative works

Mansei-bashi Bridge
Asakusa-bashi Bridge
Edo-bashi Bridge
Meihachi-bashi Bridge
Meiju-bashi Bridge
The specific number of bridges he built is not clear.

[Original Japanese]